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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Everton 0 Newcastle 2 as NUFC break 11 without win run

4 weeks ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Everton 0 Newcastle 2.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is David Punton.

POSITIVES

Actual football

There was a spell in that second half against Leeds in midweek when we were playing them off the park. Even a few of their fans said after the game ‘keep that going and you will stay up no problem.’

It was great to see that the Newcastle players have taken that with them to Goodison Park.

On paper it looked a mountain to climb but we’ve gone there and played some really nice stuff. This has to be the benchmark for them now.

Schar, Wilson and Hendrick

I could pick any number of players from this win but these three stood out.

Callum Wilson for bringing to goals to Newcastle. He’s a natural striker and his importance can’t be underlined enough. With him leading the line we are a dangerous side.

Fabian Schar, for me, has been immense. He’s not given up the fight or hidden away and he’s proved a really great pro at a time when the chips were down.

Jeff Hendrick is in there because this is a player who has taken a lot of stick. He’s not the most gifted midfielder, we all know that, but amid all the brickbats I see him getting on social media it was good to see him put in a much better performance in the engine room. He may not be the long-term answer but we know he has to do better and he managed that yesterday.

The new assistant manager bounce

There was much debate after the game as to whether the club’s new assistant coach, Graeme Jones, has already made the difference. One journalist in the pro-Bruce camp felt it was ludicrous to say Jones was the reason we got the win. But was it?

Surely it was no coincidence that after a few days of taking training, where photos emerged of Jones talking to the players in a huddle, that suddenly everyone was in the right position, we were able to pass the ball rather than hoof it, and we had more possession.

Everton had a very bad day at the office, but even so, this new coach may just help to make a difference. An appointment that has been ridiculed could end up working out.

NEGATIVES

One swallow doesn’t make a summer

It is important not to get too carried away. A win isn’t to be sniffed at but the fact remains we’ve been utterly terrible for a long time and the winless run was into double figures before this game.

I recall a game under Steve McClaren in 2016 when we won at home to West Ham, not long after we had signed Shelvey. It stopped the rot, but we still ultimately went on to be relegated that season.

More hard work is needed to beat the drop and we’re not off the rollercoaster just yet.

Injury to the skipper

It was a bit of a blow to see Jamaal Lascelles hobble of with a hamstring problem. Bruce confirmed after the game he will be missing for a few weeks. He’s an important player for us and we have to hope he’s back sooner rather than later.

Steve Bruce’s position

Most fans would agree, Bruce really needed to go. This win has probably deferred that decision for a bit longer.

Nobody wants to see the team lose, but the fact remains, this is a deeply unpopular manager who many feel isn’t tactically astute enough for this era of football.

After the game, Bruce suggested he was trying to iron out a defensive style at the club, which seemed another veiled dig at the previous manager, who left nearly two years ago.

Oh and the print media didn’t get to ask any questions after the game.

It still feels like a farce and one win doesn’t paper over it. Bruce will need to get a fair few more good results to ease the pressure in the eyes of supporters.

But in the eyes of the regime one win in 12 is probably more than acceptable, if the mission statement is to finish 17th.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 30 January 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Wilson 73 and 90+3

Everton:

Possession was Everton 61% Newcastle 39%

Total shots were Everton 11 Newcastle 13

Shots on target were Everton 3 Newcastle 3

Corners were Everton 7 Newcastle 12

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles (Clark 54), Hayden, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Shelvey, Almiron, Wilson, Fraser (Saint-Maximin 67)

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, M Longstaff, Carroll, Joelinton, Gayle, Anderson, Krafth

Crowd: 00,000

(BBC Sport comments from neutrals about Steve Bruce and Newcastle after Everton – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce says his ‘brave’ decisions have finally paid off at Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Graeme Jones records first win after taking over – Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(Brilliant victory, can’t believe it – Everton 0 Newcastle 2 match report – Read HERE)

(Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s win – Read HERE)

(Everton 0 Newcastle 2 – Watch both excellent NUFC goals in these official match highlights – Watch HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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